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RITM probes Subic Red Cross’ false positive RT-PCR tests

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
RITM probes Subic Red Crossâ false positive RT-PCR tests
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told lawmakers during yesterday’s hearing at the House of Representatives that they received a complaint that 44 of 49 fully vaccinated health personnel tested positive for COVID-19.
The STAR / Walter Bollozos, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) under the Department of Health (DOH) is investigating the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chapter in Subic for its alleged 89 percent error, with patients tested for COVID-19 yielding “false positive results.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III told lawmakers during yesterday’s hearing at the House of Representatives that they received a complaint that 44 of 49 fully vaccinated health personnel tested positive for COVID-19.

“That (is now the subject of an investigation. But normally that is an outlier where the percentage of positivity at 89 percent is certainly out of the ordinary,” he told the House committee on good government headed by Rep. Michael Edgardo Aglipay.

The “false positive test results” of PRC-Subic were done on Sept. 3, and the health personnel had a “re-swab” test three days later, which turned out that only five of the 49 health care workers were positive for the virus.

The “re-testing” was conducted at the laboratory at The Medical City in Clark.

“So, the complainant (who requested anonymity) was asking the DOH to verify these numbers. I have instructed the laboratory network and the RITM to validate these numbers,” Duque said.

The Cabinet member informed Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta of Sagip party-list and Rep. Jayjay Suarez (Quezon) that the case is now being handled by Assistant Secretary Nestor Santiago, who referred the matter to RITM for “evaluation and assessment.”

“The technical procedure of the investigation is handled by RITM. And unless the results of the investigation come out, I cannot make any conclusion. But as soon as the results of the investigation come out, then we will submit this,” Duque told the Aglipay committee.

“The consolidated evaluation that will be undertaken by RITM will be forwarded to the Health Facilities Regulatory Bureau (HFRB) that will make the determination what will be the sanctions, if any, and what will be the corrective action,” he said.

DOH PHILIPPINE RED CROSS RITM
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